A Good Life for All

“Resisting Global Capitalism”: Lessons from the Asoke Alternative

“Resisting global capitalism” is one way to frame efforts to create conditions that oster socially just and environmentally sustainable economic activity. Far from being passive victims of global processes, individuals and social groups across the globe endeavor in diverse ways to resist, reshape, appropriate, and create alternatives to the dominant neoliberal economic model. Alternatives that […]

All is Not Well with Thai Buddhist Economics: Feminist Critique of Inequality

The most significant flaw of the Thai Buddhist economic models described in the last few posts is that their ability to empower all members of society to achieve well being may be hampered by structural inequalities that result from the inherent hierarchy of their philosophical underpinnings—Theravada Buddhism—and the context in which they are implemented. Theravada […]

Two Thai Buddhist Economic Models

Though Buddhist economics was presented as a theory in the previous post, two operational models actually exist in Thailand: 1. The Royal Thai Sufficiency Economy Model, which operates on the principles of  moderation, reasonableness, self-immunity, wisdom and integrity, was publicly introduced by the King of Thailand following the 1997 economic  crisis and is now championed […]

The “Buddhist” Part of Buddhist Economics

This post reviews some aspects of Buddhist ontology and the practical teachings that serve as the foundation for Buddhist economics. If you had some questions while reading the previous post, “Is Buddhist Economics an Oxymoron?” then this might help. Buddhism’s central doctrine, the Four Noble Truths, teaches that there is suffering (dukkha); the cause of suffering […]

Is Buddhist Economics an Oxymoron?

Buddhist economics and mainstream Western economics are not as radically opposed as suggested by their stereotypes, the monk and the stockbroker. Like its Western sibling, the Buddhist model is based on individual rational choices concerning material wellbeing. The accumulation of wealth is allowed, and in many cases even encouraged. Significant differences emerge, however, upon closer […]

Specifying Elements of Wellbeing…Democractically

As I was writing yesterday’s post, How to Thrive: Specifying the Universal Elements of Wellbeing, I started thinking about this paper I had presented at the International Conference on “Happiness and Public Policy” in Bangkok several years ago. It elaborated a democratic procedure through which communities could create a list of capabilities they wanted to […]